President-elect Donald Trump expressed his support for the U.S. to strengthen and expand its nuclear weapons capabilities suggesting it is what the country needs until such time that the world " comes to its senses regarding nukes."
Trump's statement made via a Twitter message indicates that he may approve of efforts to modernize the aging U.S. nuclear arsenal- but doing so would come at a considerable cost for the country. Independent estimates place the cost of maintaining and modernizing the arsenal at roughly $1 trillion dollars over 30 years.
But with the current state of America's nuclear capabilities, the modernization appears a necessary move. Experts believe that in the next decade, U.S. ballistic missile submarines, bombers and land-based missiles- the so-called nuclear triad- are expected to reach the expiration of their usability.
Trump and his transition team have yet to provide details about the incoming President's plans on nuclear weapons expansion but Trump met on Wednesday with a dozen Pentagon officials involved with defense acquisition programs. He has also spent part of the week discussing national security issues.
Trump's transition website also states that the 45th President of America " recognizes the uniquely catastrophic threats posed by nuclear weapons and cyberattacks adding that he will modernize the nuclear arsenal to ensure it continues to be an effective deterrent."
Rebuilding the U.S. military was one of Trump's strongest campaign promises. He also proposed that such countries as Saudi Arabia and U.S. ally, Japan, should acquire nuclear weapons as a counter to Iran and North Korea, a policy that is contradictory to the Obama-led U.S. policy.
During his Wednesday defense meeting, Trump also met with the chief executives of Lockhead Martin Corp. and Boeing Co., the two largest defense contractors of the U.S. An important agenda for Trump in the meeting was to convince the CEOs on lowering costs for two high profile programs: F-35 fighter jets from Lockhead Martin and the replacement 748-8s for the presidential Air Force One plane of Boeing. Reports said Trump succeeded on this concern.